To Thomas Jefferson
[Philadelphia] Friday 15. June 1792
When Artizans are imported, and criticism is at Work, the inducement is greater to obtain those who are really skilful: for this reason, if Mr Pinckney should not readily meet with those who are unequivocally such; or, if there is a chance of getting better in France than in England, I think it would be well to instruct him to correspond with Mr Morris on this Subject with a view to obtain the best.1 I should be mortified to import men not more understanding in the business of Assaying, Engraving & Coining than those who are already among us. Yours. &ca
ALS, DLC: Jefferson Papers.
1. On 11 June, Jefferson had written to Thomas Pinckney from Philadelphia that “We shall have occasion to ask your assistance in procuring a workman or two for our mint; but this shall be the subject of a separate letter.” On 14 June, Jefferson asked Pinckney to “endeavor, on your arrival in Europe to engage and send us an Assayer, of approved skill, and of well attested integrity, and a Chief-coiner and Engraver, in one person, if possible.” Jefferson’s postscript to the latter letter, which he apparently wrote after receiving GW’s letter of 15 June, reads: “Should you not be able to procure persons of eminent qualifications for their business in England, it will be proper to open a correspondence with Mr. [Gouverneur] Morris on the subject and see whether he cannot get such from France. Next to the obtaining the ablest artists, a very important circumstance is to send them to us as soon as possible” (Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends 24:63, 74–76).